November 9, 2012 |
ALTHOUGH HE has fought for gay rights for more than 40 years, Mark Segal said gay seniors still face discrimination when looking for housing. "I met a woman who came to me crying because she was being barred from visiting her partner of 30 years," said Segal, publisher of the Philadelphia Gay News . "Imagine to have to fight to see someone. And this was in a private apartment. " Segal told of a gay man who lives in a senior-housing development where every time he went into one of the common areas, "people would come and pray around them, trying to pray them out of their gayness.
October 21, 2012
With a report that has exposed developers cutting corners as they renovate buildings around Temple University's North Philadelphia campus, City Controller Alan Butkovitz has lifted a rock on shoddy construction practices that jack up city costs while shortchanging taxpayers and forcing neighborhoods to unnecessarily contend with additional rubble, dirt, and dust. In one sense, any concern arising from development is a good problem to have. It's certainly preferable to a lack of construction activity along blocks and blocks of low-income neighborhoods.
October 7, 2012 |
Apartments continue to do a brisk business both locally and across the country, and rents continue to rise even as home sales begin to pick up. "Household formation is reviving, despite sluggish employment growth, and the recovery in demand is spreading from rental units to the owner-occupied sector," said economist Nigel Gault of IHS Global Insight in Lexington, Mass. After years of construction drought, the Philadelphia suburbs are having an uptick in new rental projects. In Center City, where building activity has been a more familiar sight, several large projects are under way and others are in the planning-approval stage.
October 5, 2012 |
Two Philadelphia city councilmen are trying to crack down on the "underground economy" of developers and contractors who work without licenses and permits, pay cash under the table, and operate unsafe job sites. Bobby Henon and James F. Kenney introduced a bill Thursday to beef up construction regulations, two days after Controller Alan Butkovitz released the results of an investigation that made the case for tighter work-site controls. "We got a lot of complaints, mostly from union guys who had observed things they regarded as a complete lack of respect for any laws," Butkovitz said.
October 2, 2012 |
Construction spending dipped 0.6 percent in August from July, but was 6.5 percent higher than the same month in 2011, the Census Bureau reported Monday. Beneath the headline number, private residential construction spending rose 0.9 percent in August, buoyed by a 2.8 percent increase in single-family homes. Spending on multifamily homes rose 3.7 percent. IHS Global Insight housing economist Patrick Newport said residential construction likely grew at double-digit rates in the third quarter, contributing between 0.2 percent and 0.3 percent to real GDP growth.
September 29, 2012 |
In a possible case of competitive sabotage, skilled vandals destroyed from $2 million to $3 million worth of construction equipment at a Northeast Philadelphia work site, officials said Thursday. "It was like a scene from a movie, like Armageddon ," said Capt. Jack McGinnis, commanding officer of Northeast Detectives. Workers for Walsh Construction Co. II L.L.C. left the site, near Magee Avenue and New State Road in Tacony, about 8:30 p.m. Wednesday. When the workers returned at 7 a.m. Thursday, "they found the entire place completely demolished," McGinnis said.
September 12, 2012 |
Philadelphia trade unions that have kept the Goldtex construction site under siege for the last six months agreed to end their protest after Rep. Bob Brady convened talks last week at the Sheet Metal Workers union hall, developer Michael Pestronk confirmed yesterday. The Goldtex entrance at 12th and Wood Streets was virtually deserted Monday, for the first time since angry union protesters began gathering there in March in an organized effort to block deliveries and prevent Pestronk's company from converting the 12-story factory building into rental apartments.
August 29, 2012
The value of residential construction in metropolitan Philadelphia in the first seven months of year was 34 percent higher than in the same period in 2011, McGraw Hill reported Tuesday. Residential building from January to July totaled $781.4 million, compared with $583.1 million in the first seven months of 2011. Nonresidential construction was 4 percent lower, while total of the two combined was 6 percent above last year. - Alan J. Heavens
August 17, 2012 |
New-home construction starts declined 1.1 percent in July from June's levels, but they were 21.5 percent higher than in the same month in 2011, the Census Bureau reported Thursday. The July numbers put the industry on pace to start 746,000 one- to four-unit residences in a 12-month period - still about half what economists consider a normal market. "The pre-bubble annual average level of new homes was 1.5 million," said Jed Kolko, chief economist at the real estate search engine Trulia.
August 14, 2012 |
The planned reconstruction of a politically wired watering hole in Northern Liberties has reached a stalemate, with the bar owners still at odds with neighbors who fear a spike in noise and who blame City Hall ties for the special legislation needed to get the project off the ground. "We've just never seen people in this community so unanimously opposed to something," said Matt Ruben, president of the Northern Liberties Neighbors Association since 2002. "They're very, very unhappy about this.